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Diego’s AutoHunter Picks

Yup! It’s time for another weekly segment of AutoHunter Picks where we bring you choice special-interest vehicles for your enjoyment. Sure, it’s great to look at pictures, but my purpose here is for you to buy one of these cars or trucks. Is my hard-sell working? Truth be told, I am not privy to who buys what on AutoHunter, but I have no need for you to thank me for turning you on to a particular vehicle – I am happy enough to select and write. Enjoy!

Diego’s AutoHunter Picks

2003 Mercedes-Benz SL500
I don’t understand how the Mercedes SL went from a world-class sports car to what could be considered a personal luxury car, but those are the breaks. That being said, I once was able to drive a 1990s SL500 cross-country from Connecticut to Arizona, and I was pleasantly surprised how solid a vehicle it was even though it was already past a generation. Solid as only a Mercedes could be!

I don’t doubt this 2003 SL500 will be any different. Certainly it’s more attractive, as I’ve always been fond of Mercedes’ four-eyed look of this era. This silver metallic retractable hardtop has only had one owner and features such options as Sport Package, SL1 Wood Package, Active Body Control suspension, and COMAND infotainment system – lots of good stuff here!

1993 GMC Yukon SLE 4×4
I had a conversation not too long ago commenting on the Blazer of this generation, which includes the Yukon. I think these trucks are quite a fine design with their smooth flanks and large glass area that seems to go with the flow. It nicely pairs aerodynamics with style in ways that few vehicles have done even today. Downside? Malaise-era power.

But the upside to this 86,000-mile 1993 GMC Yukon is the five-speed manual. Maybe the horsepower isn’t impressive, but shifting gears with the torque of a big engine in a roomy SUV-before-they-were-SUVs sounds like fun. Other features include fuel injection, locking rear, air conditioning, cruise control, tilt steering wheel, center console, tow hooks and hitch, and more.

1968 Ford XL Convertible
Hidden headlights didn’t hit the “Low-Priced Three” the way it hit more upscale and specialized brands and models in the 1960s, with Ford offering the style to the highest degree – LTDs and XLs enjoyed this feature standard from 1968-70, while Caprice only had it as an option from 1968-69. It’s a look that makes Galaxie 500s and other trim levels appear unworthy in comparison.

So this 1968 XL convertible tugs at my heart. The color appears to be Diamond Blue (if not a similar repaint) with a blue interior. Horsepower is nothing special but, for reliable, economical power, you can’t beat a 390 two-barrel. Power steering and brakes, air conditioning, AM radio are but some of the options. Seller believes 36,904 miles on odometer is legit but I’d drive this forever, low mileage or otherwise.

1998 BMW M Roadster
Maybe the Porsche Boxter looks more exotic, but BMW’s Z3 roadster delivered the goods for quasi-affordable fun. This was when BMW was getting its game on, when horsepower started to rise up after so many years of pathetic products that couldn’t get out of their own way. Overly harsh? Agreed, but we were passing through the light at the end of the tunnel to get where we are now.

This Z3 is actually a superior 1998 M Roadster, the first of the upgraded Z3s. In America, it offered 240 horsepower from a 3.2-liter inline-six, but don’t let that low number (to contemporary eyes) fool you – this is a fine sports car. Only 2,763 U.S.-spec cars were built that year and, with 23,702 miles on the odometer, this is one of those cars that doesn’t seem too old but is ripe for a collector.

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